The district and sessions court of Sukkur has ordered the Salehpat SHO to protect Ghulam Raza Mirbahar and his family from his wife’s grandfather and step-father, who are trying to sell off their daughters.
Ghulam took his 21-year-old wife, Mai Murkhi, and their three daughters to Sukkur from Bargh village in Salehpat police limits and filed a petition with the district and sessions court on May 10.
Mai Murkhi told the fifth additional sessions judge, Syed Shakeel Haider, that her maternal grandfather, Miskeen Mirbahar, married her to Ghulam four years ago and was now trying to split them up. The couple had three daughters.
Ten years earlier, Miskeen had forced Mai Murkhi’s mother to divorce her father and had her re-married to a police constable, Shaman, for Rs50,000.
Now, Miskeen and Shaman are trying to force Mai Murkhi into divorcing her husband too. She told the court that the men want to marry her to someone else for money and want to sell her daughters as well. They began threatening her when she refused.
On May 5, she went to the Salehput police, who refused to file her complaint. Two days later, she visited the Sukkur DPO who sent her back to the Salehput police with an application. When they refused her again, she went to the court for protection.
The court issued a notice to the Salehpat SHO, ordering him to file his comments for the hearing on May 13, but he didn’t show up. The court then issued the orders for protection on the hearing held on May 17.
Mai Murkhi told The Express Tribune that Miskeen and Shaman attacked their house after she filed the petition. “Luckily, we foresaw the attack and abandoned our house,” she said. They are now in hiding.
Ghulam, a barber by profession, has abandoned his salon in Bargh village. He refuses to divorce his wife or to give up his daughters.
The couple’s lawyer, Amir Qureshi, told The Express Tribune that, though the court has ordered the Salehpat SHO to protect the family, they fear that the police’s protection may be lax. He said that if the SHO fails to protect the family, he will move the Sindh High Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2011.
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